Academic journal article The Sculpture Journal

Editorial

Academic journal article The Sculpture Journal

Editorial

Article excerpt

Sculpture Journal marks its twentieth anniversary in 2017 and during the course of the year we are celebrating the achievements of this journal, its editorial teams and its many contributors, highlighting the difference it has made to the study of sculpture's histories, both nationally and internationally. We will also be highlighting its contribution to the greater understanding and appreciation of sculpture in the public domain, a field of study that connects closely to the work of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association. Between these broad fields of enquiry and study, Sculpture Journal has prided itself on being a publication that straddles sectors and constituencies: from the museum and gallery sector, to the art school and university department; from the studios of artists to the offices of arts and heritage organizations. This is not to mention a large independent sector whose research activities are often conducted without any institutional support. The life of sculpture, past and present, animates all these groups, and Sculpture Journal aims to continue supporting and disseminating the high-quality sculpture research findings of all those who work in these sectors long into the future.

One person who really understood this role for Sculpture Journal and whose life and work similarly embraced different groups interested in sculpture was Ben Read, former long-standing chair of the journal and founder member of the PMSA, and it is with great sadness that we mark his passing this autumn. Ben was an extraordinary person whose scholarship and passion for sculpture touched the lives of many, especially his undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Leeds where he worked for many years, notably as the course leader for the MA in Sculpture Studies (MASS). He was known for his extensive, and generously shared, knowledge of Victorian sculpture, but his interests also extended well into the twentieth century and into the study of the lives and legacies of sculptors such as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, both of whom themselves studied in Leeds. Ben was not just interested in the famous artists, but also lesser-known figures, and ran a module at the university with one of his former sculpture studies students about the 'insiders' and 'outsiders' of modern art and sculpture. Across his interests, he believed that sculpture needed be understood through the primacy and privilege of the direct encounter with the work itself - whether face to face with a portrait bust, peering up at a relief high on a building's facade or with a torch in the darkest corner of a museum store. …

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